30 April 2008

Positivity : Fashion

This week, two of my favourites, Dansk and 10 Men, gave me a sense of optimism. Both are pushing forward what is deemed acceptable in a fashion editorial and in written content for a rag-trade quarterly.

Dansk brings a well-needed dose of Scandinavian conceptuality and self-confidence to the coffee table, forging their own - very individual - image and forcing us to question why magazine-conventions seem so stuck in stone these days. They also feature really interesting articles and art stuff. And they have this hint of darkness (subversiveness, perhaps) that I quite like.

10 Men (and 10) maintains an endearingly trite tongue-in-cheek outlook on the ridiculousness that is Fashion in a world which is ending. Their new Creative Director (Alex Wiederin) has oh-so fabulously redone the 10 look and this new visual wittiness is mirrored in their editorial content and fashion imagery. They are also using a lot of writing within fashion editorials which is winning in my eyes. Plus, they actually know how to spell and their grammar is, at least, present. This is a lot more than one can say for some 'zines ... nuf sed.

Anyway, Dansk's "theme" for their Summer issue is Positivity. And writer Anthony Aconis writes beguilingly about "why we should start thinking positive". Now, positive thinking is something that, fortunately, I am blessed with. I just don't see the point in being pessimistic. But I have learnt that many, perhaps even the majority of people, are pessimists. Can't really blame them when the world is falling down around us. But never fear, comrades! Positivity will save us all!

Aconis says, "Since September 11 the world really has taken a somewhat drastic turn. We're running out of oil and energy. We're running out of Poles. Icebergs. Out of animal species. Running out of places without bombs. Out of places that are clean and unpolluted. Quiet places. We're running out of stuff to buy. To throw away. Some say as a result of this, we're running for our lives."
I think he's right. We are running, running to keep up with this obscene capitalistic machine we've created for ourselves. I know we didn't intend for it to end like this but this is the reality, a world full of people running, frantic to keep up with the rat race. Doesn't all that running seem like a waste of effort, and for what?

Aconis suggests, "Heal this tired old beautiful world. Why not? ... When you think about it, negativity must be the pastime of the mentally poor. People who don't have the imagination nor the intellect to make the most out of life. Grey, bleak and bitter lives. One must instead choose to enjoy every second of The Good Life ... We should hail Positivity as the Antidote to our times ... The thing that will make the change we so desperately need. Because without Positivity there's no Hope. No need to go change. No need to go that extra mile to convert the bad to good. The okay to the fantastic. The destructive to the creative. Despair to happiness. Hate to love."

It all may seem overly self-helpy and wanky and melodramatic and that it's totally exaggerating the problem and being, like, really uncool, but I think that Anthony has an amazing point to make, and his words certainly resonate with me. The thing I love most about it that it's being written in a fashion magazine! How fabulous, darlings! Can we, the superficial, stony-faced, bony-shouldered, dirty-look-giving, magazine-devouring, style-over-function-believing, disproportionate-spending-to-earning, dark-glass-wearing types who make up a disillusioned little industry called Fashion, be the ones to instigate this change to Positivity? I say yes!

And so does Anthony Aconis: "Stop whining, moaning, bitching, sighing. These are weapons of emotional mass-destruction ... Start being a nicer person. A more positive person. In the famous words of American actress Lily Tomlin: 'The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.'" Oh, it's genius! And it's so obvious! Be positive, people. Rat's stink.

So, with thoughts of Positivism and the relating ponderings fresh on my mind I opened up 10 Men happily, and what do I see in Editorial Director, Antony Miles', 'Ten Sentences'? Positivity, of course! My, it's turning out to be a good day in le monde de la mode. Miles says, in his first sentence, "Please, please please stop talking up this vile recession, you nasty little tabloids. LET'S BE POSITIVE INSTEAD." Here here, Mr. Miles, here here.

Thus, I have come to the conclusion that fashion magazines are going to be the force to bring change to the dull faces of those Negativists. I'm not saying go out and buy, buy, buy these happy, happy, happy magazines. (Uh, duh.) But, I am saying have a wee think about how you look at life. If you're not looking at it optimistically, why not give it a try? Give Positivity a red-hot go. In the words of Anthony Aconis, "The only negative side effect is that you'll simply feel better." Oh, and it might make you want to remove those super-dark lenses from those super-expensive designer specs.

Photo: Cedric Buchet

Photo: Henrik Buelow


Anonymous DUDBLANKPATHETIC said...

that's awesome. thank you for the quotations. 10 and Dansk are indeed the publications to push things forward.

27 May, 2008 19:00  

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